Joan Streit

Live music makes all the difference.

Whatever special event you are planning — a wedding reception, birthday or anniversary party — my piano playing and singing will make the occasion even more unforgettable.

Posts Tagged: Cabaret

May 26, 2012

Celebrating the Life of Donald Smith

It was May 22, 2012, at Town Hall in New York City. The event was a memorial concert remembering and honoring Donald Smith.

If you’ve been to the Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention, you have Donald Smith to thank. He founded the organization decades ago. Every year he gathered dozens of talented singers to entertain us. He also discovered, and nurtered the careers of, many notable singers, including Michael Feinstein and Andrea Marcovicci.

In addition, Donald was responsible for reopening the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel in 1980 (which has, sadly and ironically, just closed). In 1976, he helped preserve Town Hall by having it declared an historic landmark.

The memorial concert was memorable and inspiring. In addition to the aforementioned Feinstein and Marcovicci, the roster of signers also included Ann Hampton Callaway, Barbara Carroll, Marilyn Maye, Steve Ross, Billy Streitch, KT Sullivan, and Ronny Whyte. They, and many others, shared intimate stores and memories of Donald Smith.

This was truly a night to remember!

Filed under: After Hours — Tags: , , — Joan Streit @ 3:32 am

November 4, 2009

An Evening with KT Sullivan and Mark Nadler

KT Sullivan and Mark Nadler

KT Sullivan and Mark Nadler

Last month I went with my husband and our friend Marcia, a fellow cabaret enthusiast, to the South Orange Performing Arts Center, SOPAC.  It’s a wonderful theater with just 400 seats, just right for cabaret.

We went to see Mark Nadler and KT Sullivan, and what a performance the two put on! Mark Nadler has a range that goes from romance to comedy to manic energy. He’s known as “the crazy man on the piano.” KT has a voice that is, forgive the cliché, clear as a bell. Among other places, they have both performed at Carnegie Hall, New York City’s Town Hall, and Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

On October 3rd they had traveled all day to arrive in South Orange, and Mark said that he needed the energy of the audience that night to support them. At one point he performed an original pairing of Cole Porter songs “You’ve Got That Thing” and “They Couldn’t Compare to You.” He sang with finesse, and occasionally such gusto and at top speed, without a flaw, that my husband gave him a standing ovation.

Their act was somewhat unplanned. They thought they were doing a Gershwin review, while the program was billed as “Cole Porter and Friends.” Mark quipped that the show was going to be more like “Friends and Cole Porter.” Who cares? (Forgive the Gershwin reference!) They’re troupers, they have worked together so many times, and they improvised a bit. Performing songs by Cole Porter, the Gershwins, Rodgers and Hart and Irving Berlin, Mark and KT were wonderful together and separately.

SOPAC has a variety of performances including serious theater, comedy, and music of all kinds. If you’re not familiar with the performance space, check out the schedule.

Filed under: After Hours — Tags: , , , — Joan Streit @ 7:00 am